Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tuesday Among the Trees, October 25th

The day that...
it flurried for the first time.

We had a fire in the forest today.  It snowed! While we were talking about what we noticed during sit spots, flurries began to fall from the sky. 

Today when we got out to the forest we noticed that our bird feeders were empty.  We think the birds have eaten our seeds.  In this picture we are pointing at a hole in the top of our birdseed bucket.  Our theory is that an animal bit through it. We think it was a squirrel and that he was after some feed. 
We fed the birds. We filled up both birdfeeders because we wanted to see if there would still be some seed left when we come to school next Tuesday.  Some of us saw a bird that looks blue and has a very long, sharp beak eating at the feeder.

These students are climbing up a tree that fell down over the weekend.  It was a windy weekend.  We put tape on the log to show where it is safe to climb to. We climbed on the tree. We decided that it would be safe to only have 3 people on the tree at one time. If you want a turn, you can go to the waiting rock and then the people on the log will give you a turn.

We got to make popcorn on the fire. We ate the popcorn.  Some children thought it was yummy and some of us thought it was yucky. We got to hear the popcorn pop! We got to see the popcorn pop, too.

We read a story at stations.  When Mrs. T pointed to us, we got to say part of the book out loud.  Mrs. T said "the witch tapped the broomstick" and then we said "whoosh, they were gone!"

After we read the book, we acted out the book.   We found sticks to be our wands and our brooms.  We pretended to be the witch, or the frog, or the cat, or the bird, or the dog, or the frog.

In Miss Wetzel's station we did numbers.  She showed us a card and we had to build.  The card had a number on it.  We used sticks to make the numbers.  If we had a 5 we made 4 sticks in a row and then laid the fifth stick across.  This is called making tally marks.  Tally marks are a good way of organizing your sticks so that you can count quickly by 5's.

This picture shows Blue Jay making 5 out of tally mark sticks.

It was cold today in the forest.  It was 40 degrees out there.  Next week we might even want to bring our snow pants.  Some kids wore long johns this week under their pants and they were warm.  We all needed hats and mittens.  Boots were good too.  And definitely a jacket.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesday Among the Trees, October 18th

The day that...
we found a tick!

Today we had our first real sit spots.  We love sit spots because it is quiet and peaceful and there is no one bugging you.  Sit spots are hard because it is hard to stay still and it is also hard not to talk to people.  Today we talked about how it is important to learn to be still and peaceful.  That is one of the things we practice at sit spots. We practice being still and peaceful in the woods.

At our morning meeting we played a game where we pretended to be chipmunks and trees.  The chipmunk had to go over the tree, under the tree or through the tree.  In this picture, chipmunk is going through the tree.  During playtime today, some of us saw a REAL chipmunk.  It was exciting!

Mr. Potter found a tick in our woods today.  We all got to look at it so we would recognize one if we saw one.  It is so small!  If you find a tick on yourself you should take it off right away.  The sooner you remove a tick the less likely it is that the tick has made you sick.

We practiced using our counting acorns again today.  Snowy owl brought in a whole basket of acorns!  These acorns will live in the big box in our forest classroom all winter.  Just like chipmunks and squirrels make a cache of acorns, so did we!  Now we will have plenty to count all winter.

In Mrs. T's station we sorted leaved by their shape.  We learned how to tell the difference between a sugar maple leaf and a red maple.  Sometimes red maple leaves aren't red, they can be green or yellow.  We learned that the shape of a sugar maple leaf has rounded edges.  In between the parts of the leaf it looks like the letter U.  Sugar has a U in it so that is how we remember that sugar maple leaves have a U on them.

Mr. Potter (chipmunk's dad) helped us hang up our bird feeders today.  He has been coming to help on forest days and we are so happy to have him around.  Our teachers said that if other parents want to come visit they are invited any time.  Maybe next week there will be seed missing from our feeders.  We will wait and see!

We had a great day in the forest today.  It was 56 degrees and cloudy.   

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Apple Picking!

Last week we went on a field trip to Riverview Farm. 

They let us pick apples and see how apple cider is made.  

The last few weeks of school have been filled with the study of apples!  

In science we learned about the life cycle of an apple.  
We also explored apples with our five senses and then wrote about our findings.
Students learned many songs that may even help them remember how to spell the word "apple."

It's been bushels of fun!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tuesday Among the Trees, October 11th

The day that... 
We Got Our Forest Animals.
Today we were thinking about getting ready for winter.  We put on lots of layers today so we could stay warm.  That is how people get ready for winter.  Animals get ready for winter by collecting food or finding a cave to hibernate in.

 We had 2 playtimes today!  We stayed outside for a full forest day so we had plenty of time to learn and play.  We did all kinds of things during playtime.

Some of us worked on digging up a giant crystal that we found.

Some of us helped stack wood!  That was very helpful and also one of the ways we are getting ready for winter.

We had our first fire today!  It was good to have a fire because it was chilly out.  It was 41 degrees!  Once the fire was started the kids came running over to see it burn and hear it crackle.

At work stations we collected acorns just like chipmunks.  We used them for counting.  We are all invited to find acorns at home and bring them in to school.  We will use them all year for counting.

At our other work station we learned about sit spots.  At sit spots we are quiet and by ourselves.  It is one of our forest routines.  We will do this every week.  It will help us practice to be trackers in the forest who notice all kinds of things.

We ate lunch in the forest around the fire!

We had a wonderful day.  It was chilly but we were dressed warm.  Next week we will dress warm again.  It is hat season for sure!  Soon it will be time for long johns, too.  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tuesday Among the Trees, October 4th

Our second Tuesday in the woods was a great success!  

It was wet outside so most of us suited up in rain pants.  On our walk we noticed chipmunks when we were quiet.  Some of us noticed that their cheeks were full.  They were taking food back to their homes to store and keep safe!  In the picture above, some of us were pretending we had chipmunk cheek pouches.

When we got to our home base we ate some snack and checked the temperature.  After we made several predictions, we found that it was a chilly 60 degrees.  We were glad that we wore layers!

After our meeting we got to work.  In one station we went on a color scavenger hunt.  We teamed up to find natural objects that were yellow, red, orange, brown, and green (like in the picture above)!  It was a lot of fun and we found a little of every color that we were looking for.

In our other station we started construction on our outdoor bathroom.  We needed to carry long sticks and prop them up to create walls for privacy.  All of us worked together to safely carry the sticks around the woods.

Now that our bathroom is ready, we're hoping to stay outside for longer next week!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Tuesday Among the Trees, September 27th

It was our first time in the forest!

We began our day with some exploration and creativity.  Students could choose whether they wanted to look at pictures and read about what they might see in the forest or draw what they imagined they might see.  Then it was time to head outside!


The walk up the steep hill to our home base was chilly but fun as we pointed out different interesting parts of the forest to each other.  When we reached the top we gathered for snack as we took in our new surroundings.

Our next task included a color scavenger hunt.  We were looking for natural items that were various colors.  We found orange mushrooms, red leaves, and black pieces of wet wood.  We're hoping to make collections next week!

After our work time we explored our new forest classroom.  Lots of us were climbing up rocks, collecting big pieces of wood, and playing in stick forts.

It was 58 degrees out.  We're looking forward to being outside next week too!